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SXU Celebrates Virgen de Guadalupe Bilingual Mass on December 5


The celebration of the feast held in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe is of great significance to the Catholic calendar as well as to Hispanic culture, dating back to the 16th century when a poor Aztec man named Cuauhtlatohuac was baptized and given the name Juan Diego.

Diego was a widower living in a tiny village not far from Mexico City. On the morning of December 9, 1531, while Diego was walking by a hill called Tepeyac on his way to church, he started to hear beautiful music and a radiant ball of light appeared, within which stood a beautiful native maiden dressed like an Aztec princess. The lady spoke to Diego in his own indigenous language and sent him to the Archbishop of Mexico City -- a Franciscan named Fray Juan de Zumarraga -- to tell him that he was to build a chapel in the place where the lady had appeared. The bishop demanded a sign before he begin construction of a new church and so the lady instructed Diego to collect roses from a rocky, barren place no vegetation should grow and carry them to the bishop wrapped in his cape. On December 12 when he opened his cape in the bishop's presence, the roses fell to the ground and the bishop fell to his knees. On the cape where the roses had been now appeared an image of the Virgin Mary exactly as she had appeared at the Hill of Tepeyac. The image is now venerated in the Basilica of Guadalupe built on the spot of her appearance and thousands make the pilgrimage to the shrine every year.

Our Lady of Guadalupe's role in Mexican history, however, is not strictly a religious one as she has also played a critical part in Mexico's national identity. Her image appeared on rebel banners and her name was declared as a battle cry during the Mexican civil war. Many scholars even claim that the true founding of Mexico started with the first apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe as this is when she brought the Spanish and the indigenous people together for a common devotion. Our Lady of Guadalupe has lasted through the centuries and still remains an important religious and national symbol.

On Wednesday, December 5, Saint Xavier University (SXU) invites all to attend the Virgen de Guadalupe Bilingual Mass in the McDonough Chapel at noon. SXU is proud to be recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and celebrate the rich Hispanic culture and history with its students.